Like the Movies

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As I was reading the details on investigative journalism, it made me think about some of the things we see on TV and in movies, where a reporter is invovled with the law. A movie that stands out in my mind is "Erin Brockovich." She dug out reports and documents of a company that was allowing a cancerous chemical to go into its water. I can't remember all of the details of the movie, but this reading really made me think of that. I do remember that in the movie she got threats from people who didn't like what she was investigating and she went to court. This kind of newswriting definitely is more "exciting" than writing about certain events or reporting a crime. I'm not saying those aren't important things to cover, because they definitely are. It also seems like harder work, not only because of the amount of time that is typically spent investigating, but the fact that you must be careful about so many things, including the law and your safety, makes it seem that much more difficult. It's important to make sure what you're doing and writing are legal, but I really don't like the idea of people wanting to harm me or threaten me because I'm doing something they don't like. Newswriting has never really been my favorite thing, which may be why I feel this way. However, investigative reporters definitely are admirable in my eyes because their goal is to bring out something that is or has been hidden to the public. They are truly living out one of their purposes of serving the people and showing the truth.

5 Comments

Greta Carroll said:

Richelle, I agree with you. I would not want to get death threats because of something I wrote or have to be in constant fear that I’m going to get sued for defamation. I also think I’d feel really bad about covertly trying to get information. I’d feel bad about quoting someone who said something innocently and then using it to get someone else in trouble. And I agree with you, it reminds me of the movies too. On Angela’s blog I related it to the TV show Lois and Clark. In movies and TV shows everything might turn out ok in investigative journalism, but I have a hard time believing things turn out so prettily in real life.

Derek said:

I really liked your blog entry! I think that an investigative reporter does truly bring service to the community because of how they are finding the truth even when people do not want to hear it. I feel that a reporter really needs to understand their rights and the law when diving into an investigation or national matter. There are many television shows that express investigative reporting, but sometimes it seems to be made untrue because of it being television. Overall, I admire these people because it definately seems to be a difficult duty. Just think, we, as a class, have difficultly finding quotes or sources and we usually know where/who to go for the quotes.

Angela Palumbo said:

I am not bold enough to do this kind of reporting. I would be afraid that whoever I expose would take offense and hate me/want to physically hurt me. It takes a special kind of person to do this kind of reporting.

But as Richelle said, I do respect these kinds of reporters.

Wendy Scott said:

Richelle I think your right that investigative reporting kinda is like what we see in movies. The trend carries through to our own technique of investigative reporting in my view as well. Although Id have to agree with angela I am afraid as well. Also, your post kind of reflected mine because when reading hte information technique and a recent Lifetime movie came to mind. it was interesting to me how it all tied together.
Good realtionship with the readings and your perspective and how you wnet about understanding it. I agree with you to that they are trying to bring out the hidden and make the public aware of what could be negative or positive newsworthy material.

Richelle Dodaro said:

Thank you for all of the comments! You make a good point, Derek, about how we have trouble finding out our information or getting quotes, so imagine what it must be like for real investigative reporters? Definitely a tough job. And Angela, I may have not said so, but I would be afraid too. Greta, that's so true. In the movies, things usually turn out well, but probably not so much in real life. I liked that point. Wendy, yes Lifetime movies come to mind as well. They are so dramatic and things usually turn out well in them, too. It all makes me wonder why someone would choose or want such a job. However, that can be said about any occupation. Some people may say about me how could I ever want to teach elementary and preschool students? I guess it all just goes along with one's passion, whether it's a specific issue or field of work.

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